Film Review: ‘Putin’s Games’

An epic account of waste, mismanagement and corruption that makes bridges to nowhere everywhere look like small potatoes, “Putin’s Games” sheds scandalous light on the infrastructural problems surrounding Russia’s bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. This fish stinks from the head, argues filmmaker Alexander Gentelev (“The Rise and Fall of the Russian Oligarchs”), who blames the country’s president for the city of Sochi’s money-hemorrhaging attempts to accommodate such a high-profile event. This stranger-than-fiction tale would surely warm George Orwell’s satirical soul, were he around to see a docu destined to delight fest auds everywhere but Russia itself.

According to Gentelev, the Olympic Games typically cost each host city somewhere in the ballpark of $2 billion. Back in 2007, Vladimir Putin won the 2014 bid by appearing in person before the Intl. Olympic Committee and pledging $12 billion in development funds — a figure that Gentelev’s sources estimate swells to
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